Plan of Study
and its Neighbors
Discuss the major geographical
features of Brazil.
Compare and contrast the geography of the countries of Caribbean South
Describe the physical, economic, and cultural geography of Uruguay and
Chapter 8: Brazil and Its Neighbors
Brazil, the largest country in South America, has many different types
of landforms and a variety of climate regions. A large basin in the northern
half of Brazil is drained by the world's second-longest river, the Amazon.
Agriculture, mining, and forestry make up a large part of Brazil's economy.
Although the economy has brought prosperity to many Brazilians, others
continue to live in poverty. Brazil's people have a mixed heritage that
includes Native Americans and Portuguese. The Portuguese were the first
and largest European group to colonize Brazil.
The Andes mountain ranges border Argentina on the west. The Patagonian
Plateau, the plains of the pampas, and the forests of Gran Chaco provide
the resources for farming and ranching. Argentina is also one of South
America's most industrialized countries.
Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana make up the countries of
Caribbean South America. Coastal plains give way to highlands as you move
inland in each of these countries. Oil is Venezuela's most important natural
resource, while sugarcane is a major product in Guyana and French Guiana.
Rice and bananas flourish in Suriname.
Uruguay and Paraguay have large areas of grass-covered plains that support
ranching and industries that depend on raising livestock.
Brazil is South America's largest country in size and population.
The Amazon River basin holds the world's largest rain forest.
Rapid industrial growth during the 1900s has made Brazil the leading manufacturing
nation in South America.
Many people fear that economic development in the Amazon rain forest threatens
the forest, its wildlife, and the Native Americans living there.
The people of Brazil are of European, African, Native American, or mixed
Caribbean South America
Caribbean South America includes Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French
Oil has made Venezuela one of the wealthiest countries in South America.
The people of the Guianas trace their heritages to Asian, African, European,
and early Native American cultures.
Uruguay and Paraguay
Most of Uruguay's people are of European descent. They live along the coast.
Paraguay is a landlocked country. Its people speak two languages: Spanish
Uruguay's economy depends on livestock raising. Paraguay relies on forestry